The 2023 Ballon d'Or awards ceremony is over, with some of the world's best footballers having descended on Paris to find out who would succeed 2022 winner Karim Benzema in lifting the Golden Ball. In the end, it was Ballon d'Or number eight for Lionel Messi, who was rewarded for his World Cup heroics with Argentina.
It promised to be a unique Ballon d'Or battle, with the World Cup taking place in the middle of the 2022-23 campaign, meaning it could have been a distant memory by the time the votes were cast in August. There was no doubt, however, that playing a starring role in Qatar boosted some players' chances of competing for the Golden Ball, even with the winners of domestic and European titles grabbing the late-season attention.
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GOAL began tracking the race in October 2022, but by the end of the season it was clear that Messi would win out, ahead of Erling Haaland. Below are our final power rankings - for the official rankings, click here.